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June 3, 2009

More Questions About Marriage

Dear Answerers:

Here’s a hint for sending submissions to themail. I got an E-mail replying to the introduction to the last issue of themail. The sender demanded that I publish it without any editing and at its full length. He commanded me not to follow my usual policy of publishing just the first two or three paragraphs in the E-mail version of themail and linking to the full message in the online edition. He told me that I could either obey his terms or that he would withdraw his permission to publish his message at all. He got his wish; I haven’t published it.

My question in this issue is for opponents of homosexual, gay, or single-sex marriages. How do we know when a universal human truth becomes no longer true? What would convince you or make you acknowledge that a religious and moral belief that you hold and that has been held by nearly every human society and religion throughout history is false? That kind of revolution of thought rarely happens, but there are times when people abandon what has been a bedrock moral certainty throughout history and across civilizations, and adopt a different and even opposite truth. It happened once less than two centuries ago.

Proponents of “marriage equality” frequently compare same-sex marriage with interracial marriage, but that’s not a good comparison. It’s always been the common human custom for people to marry within their own groups, whether those groups are defined geographically, linguistically, religiously, politically, or racially. But marriages between people in different groups also occurred frequently whenever and wherever groups mixed in any significant numbers. Over history and across the world, forbidding those intergroup marriages legally has been the exception rather than the rule (though the taboo has been more strictly enforced across religious lines than across geographic or racial ones). The abolition of laws in the United States against interracial marriages confirmed common human tradition and experience, rather than rejected it.

A better example is comparing same-sex marriage to the abolition of slavery. Until the nineteenth century, slavery was nearly universally acknowledged as a legitimate way of organizing a society. It was sanctioned by several major religions and practiced by many, perhaps most, major civilizations. Even nations that didn’t practice slavery themselves didn’t question the right of other nations to practice it. But there was a revolution of thought during the nineteenth century, and the historical acceptance of slavery turned into a nearly universal rejection of it. By the end of that century, except in isolated pockets of the world, slavery was shunned as an institution that was not just morally and religiously wrong, but also abhorrent and horrifying.

How do we know that the same kind of revolution of thought is not occurring now? Until now — and I do mean now, just the last couple decades — homosexual marriage as a social institution, equivalent in every way to heterosexual marriage, has been an unthinkable idea. Societies’ attitudes toward homosexuality have ranged from bemused toleration to furious rejection, and, rarely, respect; but their treatment of homosexuals have never included formal legal recognition of marriages between them. However, in the past two decades the idea of marriage equality has spread and gained power in the United States and some European nations with remarkable rapidity. The people who support same-sex marriage in those countries have, if anything, a firmer sense of moral certainty and of the superiority of their moral position than people who oppose it.

If you oppose same-sex marriages and believe they should not be given legal recognition, what makes you sure that this is not another idea whose time has come, like the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century? How do you recognize a revolutionary advance in human morality, a lifting of the veil of moral ignorance, and distinguish it from a moral delusion?

Gary Imhoff


Duck and Run
Clyde Howard,

On March 24, I witnessed a DC trash truck damage my rear fence. I proceeded to inform William Howland, Director of the Department of Public Works, of the damage. I was directed to the Office of Risk Management to file a claim, which I did with pictorial evidence. Three months later I received a notice denying my claim because I did not have a police report or a corroborative witness. The claim was for $450.00.

I guess as a senior citizen I have to have video tape evidence or a picture of Bill Howland with a goat to get a claim paid. Let that be a lesson to all in the future. Prior to making any claim against DC, file a police report, especially if it’s a hit and run.


Clubhouse Politics
Dorothy Brizill,

This afternoon, Council Chairman Vincent Gray and ten other councilmembers held a press conference to announce a plan to rescue the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW), which has been struggling for the past few years to finance, maintain, and manage its twenty-five facilities in the DC metropolitan region ( Operating at a deficit for the past five years, on April 8, the BGCGW announced a strategic restructuring plan to reduce costs. The plan included “selling or closing select facilities” in the District, Maryland, and Virginia; a 10 percent reduction in staff; across-the-board staff furloughs; and pay cuts for senior club executives. The restructuring plan would have, for example, closed four of its nine club facilities in Washington.

According to Vincent Gray, today’s press conference capped weeks of secret meetings and discussions between the council and the BGCGW. The conference was called to announce the successful conclusion of those negotiations and to assure the clubs’ “continued ability to provide much-needed recreational, educational, and other services to children in different parts of the city.” In his remarks, Chairman Gray announced that the city will spend twenty million dollars to purchase three club facilities: Jelleff in Georgetown, Clubhouse #10 in Columbia Heights, and Eastern on Capitol Hill (Eastern had been closed in 2007). After a series of self-congratulatory remarks by the councilmembers, the press conference took a turn. First, concern was raised from the media because Gray did not have a copy of the contract or agreement, or even a single piece of paper detailing or summarizing the deal. Then, school board member William Lockridge and others in the audience raised concerns that the city was saving three club facilities in affluent neighborhoods but neglecting the needs of east-of-the-river, where the vast majority of the city’s children reside.

Then I asked two questions that got troubling responses. In 2003, the District’s Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs merged with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and transferred all of the properties in its portfolio, including Clubhouse #10, to the BGCGW. Why is the District now buying back a property that it had given to the BGCGW at no cost? In addition, the BGCGW operates facilities throughout the metropolitan region — nine in DC, four in Maryland, and twelve in Virginia. I asked to what extent the twenty million dollar bailout by the District government would be directed to preserve facilities and programs in DC, as opposed to the suburbs. During the press conference, in front of the media and television cameras, Pandit Wright, the interim president and CEO of the BGCGW, said that the final written agreement with the District government would ensure that the twenty million dollars would be spent on clubs and programs in the District. Immediately after the press conference, however, Wright, surrounded by her staff, sought to clarify her answer and did an about-face. She said then that the twenty million dollars in District funds would be used to pay off the BGCGW’s existing debts, establish an endowment, and pay the operational expenses for all club facilities in the region, not just the District.

Neither the mayor nor any representative of the executive office of the mayor participated in the weeks of negotiations between the council and the BGCGW, and neither the mayor nor any representative of his administration attended today’s press conference. This is particularly significant since the DC Department of Parks and Recreation may be responsible for managing the three club facilities the District is acquiring.


A DC Teacher Speaks from the Hart
Candi Peterson,

Hart Middle School in southeast Washington is being reconstituted. As many of you know, it has been in the news throughout this school year with stories about DC teachers being assaulted, teachers being assigned to teach outside of their certification areas, substitutes covering classes, overcrowded classes, unruly students, possession of handguns, violence, and a lack of the supports that had been promised by Chancellor Rhee’s office. Hart was merged with P.R. Harris Educational Center this school year, against the advice of parents and community activists. Hart’s problems have been complicated by not having adequate funding to run the school. When these complaints surfaced in the news, Hart’s principal was fired by Chancellor Rhee instead of being given the supports the school desperately needed. It should also be noted that Hart was not given the financial support that it was entitled to; this was revealed after the Levy report documented that approximately 31 schools did not receive the funding they were entitled to, based on their student enrollment. How one runs a school without adequate funding is beyond me.

I also doubt that certain elected teacher members of our Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) Executive Board care about what’s happening on our educational landscape, either. I hope you, like me will take these violations of due process more seriously than some of our lackadaisical union executive board members, union president, and Chancellor Rhee. I received an E-mail at my blog from a DC teacher at Hart middle school. Based on this insider’s experiences, Chancellor Rhee is following through with her promises to rid our school system of a significant core of our DC teaching force, as revealed in her five-year educational plan. No credible school system seeks to remove a significant majority of its workforce. Who really cares about our students and the chaos Rhee’s actions and five-year plan of mass terminations and buyouts will create? Certainly not Rhee and company. Here’s the E-mail from my teacher colleague, working in the trenches. Even though some members of our union are falling asleep on the job, some of us are listening and are planning a course of action. Keep sending me your E-mails at The teacher’s name has been removed in order to protect confidentiality.

“Hey Candi, I am a teacher at Hart Middle School, and I read your blog. As you know, we were told at Hart that we had to either reapply for our jobs or become excess employees. I opted not to reapply, and was placed on the excess list as well as many of my colleagues who either didn’t reapply or opted out. The majority of teachers from the old regime at Hart (with the exception of two) are not coming back. Anyway, I was just wondering if you had heard the news about all the other teachers being excessed. This week, the teachers at Kramer Middle School, Kelly Miller Junior High, and Johnson Junior High were all excessed! These schools were not even on the list to be reconstituted. Then, Rhee allegedly went to Kelly Miller and told the teachers that, if the City Council did not get her 27.5 million back, then all the excessed teachers would be fired! I wonder why more people are not talking about this, because it is absolutely ridiculous! When we go to these teacher fairs and tell them we are from Hart Middle School, they look right past us as if we are invisible. A colleague of mine even told me that a school told him they were primarily only interested in teachers who were from “outside of DCPS.” At Hart, the principal is walking around interviewing prospective teachers right in front of us for jobs for next year. The funny thing is, every single person he’s interviewed (at least the ones that I know of) are from outside of DCPS. It is almost as if Michelle Rhee is purposely excessing all the teachers from restructured schools, replacing them with teachers from outside of the system, making it next to impossible for them to get jobs within the system, and then trying to use the 27.5 million as an excuse to terminate them. Meanwhile, students from at least ten schools next year (and probably more that we don’t even know about next year) will have to come back next year to buildings where they practically won’t know a single adult working there! It will be absolute chaos! Anyway, you are probably already aware of most of this, but I just wanted to give you a point of view from someone who works in one of the schools that’s being reconstituted. I really hope that whatever scheme Rhee is pulling (as well as all of her other schemes) becomes exposed because this is absolute insanity!”


Construction Folly on 17th Street, NW
Gabe Goldberg, gabe at gabegold dot com

Driving north yesterday on 17th Street, NW, past the Old Executive Office Building, was a wonderful tourist-like experience, because traffic moved so slowly I could fully absorb and appreciate the grandeur of the Old EOB.

Why was traffic creeping along? Because in addition to the long-term construction which closed the right lane, something new had closed the left lane, leaving the middle lane to sclerotically absorb all three lanes of traffic.

What possesses DC to allow simultaneous construction zones to narrow a main street — already crowded because of the closed nearby Pennsylvania Avenue (though that was not DC’s fault) — to one lane?


City Hall Is the Cause of DC’s Crime Emergency
Dino Drudi,

You will be hard pressed to find a more ardent supporter of Mayor Fenty, but from early in his administration I have reserved one exception, which is his administration’s approach to crime. Today’s Examiner cogently chronicles why. When Vincent Schiraldi spoke at the Federation of Citizens Associations, I flatly told him that his lax approach to juvenile crime (which I called “handing out lollipops” and another Federation speaker at another meeting called “hug and talk”) places citizens in peril. Imagine demoting a police officer for telling irate citizens at a community meeting that they needed to bring their concerns about failure to act on juvenile crime to the attorney general’s office! And imagine further the attorney general (whom otherwise I will and have defended) saying he doesn’t even bother reading their concerns! In all candor, we should not be surprised to see crime rising in DC, where, frankly, it is increasingly unsafe to live.

From “Delgado made headlines last fall when he blasted the city’s juvenile justice system for failing to lock up a teenager suspected in 21 robberies. Delgado urged neighbors in Columbia Heights to ‘flood’ Nickles with E-mails demanding tougher action against young offenders. Nickles chastised Delgado for an ‘inappropriate’ break of ranks and said publicly that he wasn’t bothering to read the E-mails from neighbors. Nickles didn’t respond to requests seeking comment on Delgado’s demotion and transfer. . . . ‘The place is an absolute mess,’ police union chairman Kris Baumann told The Examiner. ‘The environment is absolutely unstable. Everyone stands around on Friday, waiting to find out who has been transferred where and whose career has been ruined.’”

From, quotes from blogger Matt Rhoades: “Borderstan is a mini-hood — the western half is in the DuPont Circle neighborhood, and the eastern half is in the Logan Circle neighborhood. The middle of Borderstan is 15th Street, which is the dividing line between two police districts, two neighborhoods and two Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. . . . [Borderstan crime] seems to be inching up in 2009 after declining in 2008, but the increase in Borderstan is in property crimes, not in violent crime.”

From Harry Jaffe’s column, “The District’s new reform school was a disaster from the beginning, starting with its name: New Beginnings Youth Development Center. . . . Why call a juvenile jail ‘New Beginnings Center’? . . . [T]he kids who wind up at the 60-bed detention center . . . are the worst young thugs; they have committed violent crimes such as armed robbery or assaults with intent to kill. Vincent Schiraldi, head of the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, called it the ‘anti-prison.’ Sounds cute — in a touchy-feely, love-the-one-you’re-with kind of way — but what young, hard-core criminals need is a hard-core jail.”

There should be no doubt a state of emergency exists regarding crime in DC, but the cause of that state of emergency is the policies emanating from city hall more so than any other factor!


DC Council Adds Another $9.5 Million Tax Increase
Paul D. Craney,

The environmentally responsible DC Republican Committee made the following statement in response to the DC Council’s initial passage of the proposed “Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009,” commonly known as the “DC Bag Tax.”

“The DC Council voted in favor of adding a new tax that is expected to raise $9.5 million from its residents during an economic downturn and when the District unemployment rate is close to 10 percent. Usually when unemployment is high and people are struggling to find jobs, our elected officials work toward making the cost of living more affordable. Today the DC Council did the exact opposite,” stated Robert J. Kabel, Chairman of the DC Republican Committee.

The proposed Bag Tax would place a 5 cent tax on paper and plastic bags received at stores that sell food including grocery stores and stores like CVS. According to proponents of the bill, some of the tax would be used to clean the Anacostia River. The DC Republican Committee is one hundred percent behind efforts to clean the Anacostia River and believes money should be dedicated from the existing budget instead of adding a new tax to clean the river. Since 2004, the District budget has increased 42 percent.

[Wait, isn’t this a perfect example of burying the lead? The DC budget has increased 42 percent in just five years, at a time of low inflation? Are we getting 42 percent more services for our money? Please tell me more about that. — Gary Imhoff]


Incestuous Marriage
Michael Bindner,

First, practitioners of free love would agree with you [themail, May 31] regarding incestuous marriage, as long at there are no likely genetic problems. See Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast and To Sail Beyond the Sunset, where one of the subplots of this sci-fi series is the incestuous relationships of the protagonists. Second, incestuous marriage among first cousins was more the rule than the exception among nobles and royals, as well as among colonial settlers, in the not too distant past. Anyone who can trace back to the Plymouth colony will often find that their ancestors were rather closely related. (For example, in one branch of my family, three of four progenitors of a single ancestor were first cousins, meaning that this person had a father who was the product of first cousins and a mother who had a parent who was a first cousin of the other grandparents.) Third (and most importantly), the difference between advocating for gay marriage as opposed to incestuous marriage (with or without sex) is that marriage is not required to gain familial rights in an incestuous marriage, especially among siblings — since they are already considered next of kin. Marriage is necessary to divorce your current relatives and give familial rights to the spouse.

As for polygamy, anyone who has read Alvin Toeffler’s Future Shock knows that this was projected to occur as a result of free love, although free love is on the wane as an ideology. Plural marriage makes sense to conserve property that otherwise might be seized in inheritance taxes although, considering how small this burden is, currently the economic pressure to adopt this institution has lessened as well.


Marriage Equality
Joel Lawson,

I was so saddened by Gary Imhoff‘s May 27 preface essay, “Questions About Marriage.” All his “pondering” seemed to produce a bizarre allegation that those of us in favor of marriage equality insist all discourse “must be based solely and strictly on reason, and reason must not be based on religion, morality, history, experience, sentiments, feelings, or traditions.” I haven’t encountered these Spock-like automatons that Mr. Imhoff sees attempting to control the marriage debate, roaming about the District enforcing (with that Vulcan neck grip, perhaps) a clinical reason-only discourse. I have heard hundreds and even thousands of persons discussing their support for marriage equality based upon reason, yes, but also infused with “religion, morality, history, experience, sentiments, feelings and traditions.”

The religious arguments in favor of marriage equality have existed for years, and are growing. The Reform and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism perform same-sex marriages. The United Church of Christ’s General Synod voted to both perform and advocate for same-sex marriages. The Episcopal Church officially opposes “any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriages or unions.” The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations has been on record in full support of marriage equality for sixteen years. Other denominations, while caught up in debates over these issues, are nonetheless home to many congregants, congregations, and even entire regional church bodies supportive of marriage equality (“More Light” Presbyterian congregations, for example). This support among major denominations is joined, of course, by the many largely LGBT denominations and congregations, such as the Metropolitan Community Church, or our own local Bet Mishpachah. I have also found no cold secular ingredients in the moving words of support from figures such as Coretta Scott King, Dr. Cornell West, Rep. John Lewis, and many others.

Which of these arrived at their positions sans spirituality? Which of these did Mr. Imhoff tune out in his “pondering”? Which of the clergy does anyone presume unbothered by the fact their marriage ceremonies are not honored outside the temple door, while all others — including everyone from decent and loving nonbelievers to a momentary Baptist such as Britney Spears (perhaps she lip synched the Scriptural passages for her wedding) — enjoy full marriage rights? Granted, these supportive people of faith are, despite their large and growing numbers, a minority of America’s religious. If anyone insists on ignoring the role of minority religious groups in civic discourse, they have a few DCPS history textbooks to edit, in those chapters covering our nation’s creation. That’s some “history” and “tradition” for you.

But history and traditions have also been discussed: how those have changed convulsively regarding marriage over time, in the treatment of women, property, race, age, religion, adultery, divorce, and more. Everyone should be “pondering” what marriage based upon history and tradition would really mean. As for morality, I’ll encourage Mr. Imhoff to seek out the many persons in our city and nation denied the opportunity to visit their loved ones in the hospital, or who have had their parental rights challenged, have lost a job when their domestic situation was discovered, have fought illness without the insurance coverage that is often automatically granted to legal spouses, that have had their homes and children confiscated by in-laws who now speak as the only legal family in place of a deceased partner, and more.

While some of these body blows to human dignity are prevented by District law (and a costly assembly of private legal documents and privately obtained insurance policies), I challenge any opponent of marriage equality to travel this country relying solely upon that delicate house of cards for their separate-and-still-unequal rights as citizens. No morality motivating our advocacy for marriage equality, Mr. Imhoff? No “experience, sentiments, feelings” in fighting to end what we have suffered for too many years, even though we are nearly a full decade into the 21st Century?

Sadder and more offensive than this moral blindness is that Mr. Imhoff’s “pondering” left plenty of time for considering the specter of “polygamous, polygynous, and group marriages,” and to seriously ask, as part of this debate: “What is the argument against giving marriage equality to consensual adult incestuous marriages?” How sad, how limited, that Mr. Imhoff would have time in his “pondering” for red herrings, but none for the many moral and spiritual facets of our movement to protect all married couples, all their children, all our families against inhumane treatment, with the force of law.


Questions about Marriage
Richard Urban, richardruban at

The idea by Malcolm Wiseman [themail, May 31] that marriage should not have a religious or historical context is absolutely false. Marriage is, has, and will be defined by natural law in the sense that a man and a woman will always be necessary to create a child. Marriage provides a relatively safe and beneficial place to raise children, and it is in the best interest of government to encourage marriage, as evidenced by the monetary and social expense of out of wedlock childbearing and the increased incidence of crime and social breakdown due to these conditions. Religion has and always will be an important part of public discourse. Recall that the founding fathers stated “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” To say that public discourse must not include religious or traditional moral references is something like saying that your mind should not influence the actions of your body; they are inextricably connected.

Regarding the “right” of same sex partners to “marry,” what about the right of any children that might be adopted to have a father and a mother? Who is looking out for the best interest of the children? What about oppression of the children’s rights? Who gave the children a say in whether or not they will have a father and a mother, or even be able to find out who their father or mother is?

I agree that if you accept homosexual unions, then you must legally also accept all other types of relationships, such as polygamous ones or even incestuous ones. Those concerned about the recognition of same sex unions in the District of Columbia should come and testify at the Board of Elections hearing regarding whether or not the referendum putting that question before the voters is an appropriate topic for a referendum. The meeting will occur on June 10 at 10:30 a.m. at 441 4th St. NW in room 280 North. You can call 727-2525 to register to testify.



Townhall Meeting, June 4
Eleanor Holmes Norton,

Don’t miss the first town hall meeting and video conference dialogue to be held between DC women at USP Hazelton for Women, Hazelton, West Virginia, and DC residents. Panel: Tonie Rhones, Our Place DC; Reessa Motley, Fairfiew Halfway House; and members of the Commission on Black Men and Boys. Thursday, June 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m., One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW.

The meeting is sponsored by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Norton, a member of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, which has oversight of District inmates in federal correctional facilities, has visited federal facilities housing male and female DC inmates, and has held hearings. This video conference/town hall meeting will help her prepare for upcoming hearings on DC inmates incarcerated in federal facilities.


Department of Parks and Recreation Events, June 4-8
John Stokes,

June 4, 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Petworth Recreation Center, 801 Taylor Street, NW. Table Tennis Tournament for ages 13-15. Youth will enjoy participating in this friendly table tennis competition, for bragging rights. For more information, call Howard Marshall at 576-6850.

June 5, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m., Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE. Community “6” Graduation Celebration for ages thirteen and up. Fashion and dinner program honoring achievements of program volunteers, mentors, tutors, coaches, and supreme teen club. For more information, call Karena Houser-Hall, Recreation Specialist, at 698-3075.

June 5, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street, NW. Double Dutch Mania for ages 6-17. It’s Double Dutch Mania at Kennedy Recreation Center! Be ready to pull out all your jumping skills and tricks and work those ropes! For more information, call Rochelle Bradshaw at 671-4794.

June 5, 12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Trinidad Recreation Center, 1310 Childress Street, NE. Big Tigger’s eighth annual celebrity classic for ages 7-14. Tigger of WPGC 95.5 FM, BET, Premier Radio Networks, and the Street Corner Foundation, Inc., with the support of professional athletes from the NBA, the NFL, and the Youth Spots Clinic will encourage young people 7-14 who have been affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS to participate in a sports program where they will receive fundamental instruction while collecting special gifts, i.e., certificates, T-shirts, water bottles, autographs, and pictures. For more information, call Anthony Higginbotham, Site Manager, at 727-1293.

June 5, 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Kenilworth Parkside Recreation, 4300 Anacostia Avenue, NE. Kenilworth Health Fair for ages 55 and up. The Senior Services Division in conjunction with GWU Hospital presents Kenilworth Health Day. Screenings will be available for breast cancer, colon cancer, oral cancer, and prostate cancer. Other general health information regarding smoking cessation, diabetes, and blood pressure will be available. We hope to also have entertainment, snacks, and a health walk. For more information, call Cassandra Brooks at 724-8934.

June 5, 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, 701 Mississippi Avenue, SE. End of the Year Graduation Celebration for ages 7-17. This event will acknowledge and celebrate all the academic and tennis accomplishments of the student athletes of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. This closing program will officially end the academic school year and will include parents, staff, families and community partners. Special recognition will be given to all graduates. For more information, call Donna M. Stewart, Site Manager, at 645-6242.

June 6, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Suitland High School, Suitland, Maryland. Junior Olympics Local Qualifier Meet for ages eighteen and under. This is the first meet that begins the USATF Junior Olympics Process. Athletes in the Potomac Valley Association South Region compete and the top six athletes in each event qualify for the Association Championships. For more information, call Edgar Sams at 258-5790.

June 6, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren Street, NW. DPR Citywide Soccer Championship for ages 5-18. The DPR Citywide Soccer Championship games mark the end of DPR spring soccer season-it brings together kids from all over the city to compete in a city wide championship games. This will be a one day tournament lasting all day with award presentations at the end of the games. For more information, call Abdullah Tunis, Manger of Soccer Programs, at 671-1700.

June 6, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Congress Heights Recreation Center, 1351 Alabama Avenue, SE. Camping and Environmental Education. Join in the opportunity to build a new garden. The District Department of the Environment and the Department of Parks and Recreation are pleased to announce the first of a series of workshops designed to teach residents about backyard wildlife habitat and landscaping with native plants. The workshops will consist of a morning session of lectures and an afternoon hands-on session where participants may help plant a demonstration garden, do a site assessment or receive assistance planning their own site. Participants will also receive a “habitat kit” to get them started creating wildlife habitat at home. For more information, call Kelly Melsted, Environmental Education Specialist, at 671-0396. Participates may bring lunch.

June 6, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Lederer Gardens, 4801 Nannie Helen Burroughs, NE. Spend a day in the gardens! Your help is needed at Lederer Youth Gardens to be ready for summer. All are welcome to visit Lederer and help out in any way. For more information, call Kelly Melsted, Environmental Education Specialist, at 671-0396.

June 6, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Guy Mason Community Center, 3600 Calvert Street, NW. Glover Park Day. Each summer, Glover Park hosts an outdoor festival on the Guy Mason Community Center grounds. Local restaurants offer food, residents organize a giant yard sale, entertainers play for the crowds, and prizes are raffled. For more information, call 282-2180.

June 7, 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Volta Park Recreation Center, 3300 Q Street, NW. Volta Park Community Picnic. Volta Park is having a Community Picnic on Sunday June 7. Come out and have some fun. For more information, call Ms. Shirley Debrow, Site Manager, at 282-0380.

June 8, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street, NW. Let’s Explore Electricity for ages six and up. Let’s discover the basics and how modern electricity works. We will explore the process and use of the electromagnetic force in our daily lives. For more information, call Curtis Mozie at 671-4794.


Mount Pleasant Clean-Up Event, June 6
Marika Torok, Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance,

The Third District Metropolitan Police Department is inviting the Mount Pleasant community to meet the Clean-Up Women on Saturday June 6, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at 17th and Lamont Street, NW. Mount Pleasant volunteers are needed.

The Clean-Up Women will be cleaning up the community and need volunteers. Neighbors are invited to assist members of the Metropolitan Police Department with making our community safe and litter free. Afterward, enjoy lemonade and mingle with police officers that patrol your perspective community.

Interested individuals can contact a committee member below. Register no later than Thursday, June 5. Officer B. T. Davis, 240-426-5829; Officer K. Tutt, 576-8214; Sergeant J. Eccles, 673-6815; Marcos Santiago, 703-819-9434.


Girls Summer Tennis Camp, June 16, and Wimbledon on the Anacostia, June 26
Vanessa Brooks,

The 2009 Girls Summer Tennis Camp at the Anacostia Tennis Courts begins June 16 and ends August 7. Camp will be in session Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Besides professional tennis instruction and fitness and nutrition advise, your child will have the opportunity to learn many new and exciting things over the eight-week period. Our partners will provide opportunities for each of them to experience aspects of the Arts (Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum), cultural (visit to White House), educational (Bureau of Engraving), alternative career choices (Construction Company Tea), LEGG Mason Professional Tennis Tournament Workshops and live play at Kid’s Day-US Open in New York). There are a few remaining free slots open to DC residents; $200 fee for non-residents. Please E-mail to express your interest in your young lady enrolling or call 581-0406.

Set Point, Inc., and AEDC Scholarship Foundation will host the third annual Wimbledon on the Anacostia at the Anacostia Tennis Courts on June 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year we seek your support by asking that you join us as the VIP you are. Your tax-deductible contribution of $100.00 (or more) will allow us to invite young people from across our community who might not otherwise play tennis or be able to join us at Wimbledon on the Anacostia. All proceeds will be donated to the AEDC Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to deserving high school graduates and college students east of the river. Featured activities of the day will include skills clinics, health care, the arts, round-robin tournament play, prizes, food, and “Strawberries and Creme.” For your support you will have a listing as a VIP supporter in our event advertisement and be welcome to play tennis as a VIP participant. Players and guests are asked to wear all tennis white. Please make your check payable to AEDC Scholarship Foundation and return to Albert “Butch” Hopkins, Jr., President and CEO, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, 1800 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, SE, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20020.


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